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lydecker

The 100+ Club

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As many films as I've seen with Ward Bond in them, his face has never registered with me. I may not be able to pick him out of a lineup. Why is that?

 

How about his voice?    I 'pick him out' based on his voice before I see his face.

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Speaking of voices . . .

 

     If I didn't know it was REX ALLEN narrating a couple of those Disney movies last night I'd have *sworn* it was JOEL McCREA.  I just watched McCREA in "Ride the High Country" the other day on TCM and he and Rex Allen sound very similar to me.      

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[attachment=2073:frank_mchugh.jpg]Frank McHugh

 

“I never act in movies.” Frank McHugh once modestly said.  “All I ever do in a picture is to be myself and let the cameras grind on.”  Moviegoers who always looked forward to a irrepressible Frank McHugh performance would beg to differ.

 

Born in Homestead, PA, into a theatrical family, Frank McHugh made his stage debut at the age of 6 as a member of the McHugh Stock Company which was run by his parents, Catherine and Edward.  He performed in stock productions and on the Broadway and London stages until he landed in Hollywood in 1930 where he quickly became one of Warner Brothers most reliable supporting players.  Often playing alongside James Cagney and Pat O’Brien, fellow members of the “Irish Mafia,” McHugh appeared in 114 films during his long career including:  “The Front Page,” “Four Daughters,” “Going My Way,” Lilly Turner,” “Footlight Parade” and “The Last Hurrah.”  In an interesting bit of Hollywood trivia, Frank McHugh also appeared as the same character in both “One Way Passage” and its remake (made 8 years later) “Til We Meet Again”

 

During World War II Frank McHugh was a member of the Hollywood Victory Caravan in which 21 stars travelled across the county by train raising money for the Army & Navy Relief Fund. He also designed and starred in “McHugh’s Revue” which toured France, Holland, Belgium and Germany, entertaining American troops abroad. McHugh’s USO tour won him an Army citation for “exceptionally meritorious service while working as a member of an entertainment unit.”  Major General Raymond McLain wrote Frank McHugh:  “Your show was sparkling and left a refreshing atmosphere in the spirit of many battle weary soldiers.” After leaving Hollywood, Frank McHugh returned to the Broadway stage to star in a revival of “Finian’s Rainbow.” In his review in the New York Times, Walter Kerr wrote:  “Mr. McHugh’s very face is a walking wink.”

 

Frank McHugh continued working, principally in television, until 1969. He died at the age of 83 in 1981.

 

Monday:  A Salute to Jane Darwell.

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As many films as I've seen with Ward Bond in them, his face has never registered with me. I may not be able to pick him out of a lineup. 

 

While he does have a distinctive voice, Bond's appearance often changes in different roles. In GWTW and westerns, he wears big pork chop sideburns making his face look thinner.

While his even features stay remarkably ageless, I've noticed he gains and loses weight between pictures which often shows in his face. He's often a cop, soldier, boxer, cowboy-a big strappin' guy.

 

Thomas Mitchell has that classic Irish face, but his acting seem to permeate his appearance for each role. I was amazed when  realizing Uncle Billy and Pop O'Hara were the same guy-he looked so different to me! All that ever changes is Mitchell's hair.

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As character actors go, WARD BOND's voice isn't as "distintive" as others.  Like  WALTER BRENNAN or PERCY HELTON or DUB TAYLOR.

 

And of course, NED SPARKS.   :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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As many films as I've seen with Ward Bond in them, his face has never registered with me. I may not be able to pick him out of a lineup. Why is that?


Fra-- At your age, I can't believe that you did not watch Ward Bond in Wagon Train. It was one of the most popular westerns of classic TV. I can still remember the controversy that ensued when Ward Bond died and they wouldn't give Bob Horton the wagonmaster role.

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Fra-- At your age, I can't believe that you did not watch Ward Bond in Wagon Train. It was one of the most popular westerns of classic TV. I can still remember the controversy that ensued when Ward Bond died and they wouldn't give Bob Horton the wagonmaster role.

While YOU were watching "Wagon Train", I was learning how to do the Bristol Stomp.

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Fra-- At your age, I can't believe that you did not watch Ward Bond in Wagon Train. It was one of the most popular westerns of classic TV. I can still remember the controversy that ensued when Ward Bond died and they wouldn't give Bob Horton the wagonmaster role.

I always thought it was because the producers felt the audience would more readily accept an OLDER wagonmaster and put JOHN McINTIRE in the role instead. 

 

TV and movie producers then, and NOW seem to think THEY know what WE like better than WE do.  :angry:

 

 

Sepiatone

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While YOU were watching "Wagon Train", I was learning how to do the Bristol Stomp.


Fra-- I had time for The Crystals, The Contours, and The Dovells featuring, Len Barry singing about the Bristol Stomp.

Actually we watched Wagon Train in the kitchen while we ate-- it was so popular my mother didn't mind. She also thought that Bob Horton was a young whippersnapper and too immature to be the wagonmaster. She said everybody could see that. LOL

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Desperately seeking a few more 100+ actresses.  Bette Davis, Jane Darwell, Doris Lloyd, Mary Astor and Clara Blandick fit the bill but even folks who you would think would (Una Merkel- 93 films, Elizabeth Patterson - 99 films) don't make 100+. 

 

Pass along any suggestions you have.  Thanks!

 

Lydecker

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About a year ago I contemplated making a section that could be used to do IMDB lookups on actors like this, but held off on the idea as that section was less developed at the time (I was finding actors that were well over 100 years old).  I didn't see anything wrong with IMDB's movie-to-actor associations though.  So that should be a good source.

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Pass along any suggestions you have. 

 

Mmmm, seems Joan Blondell was in a lot of movies over a long period of time. 

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Pass along any suggestions you have. 

 

Mmmm, seems Joan Blondell was in a lot of movies over a long period of time. 

 

Her TCM filmography is 95 features plus shorts so that should put her over the top. Love her and damn it, when will she be SOTM???

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Bobby Barber, bit player extraordinaire.

 

He had well over 100 film credits, including some silent shorts, plus television appearances. A close friend of Abbott and Costello, he appeared in many of their films (often with no lines), as well as their television show. During filming of The Noose Hangs High, A & C paid him $200 a week to stay on the set all day and joke around to keep them happy.

 

“If Costello isn’t feeling so good, he sneaks up behind me and drops an ice cube down my back,” Barber once said. “Well, naturally I jump up and yell, and I hit Costello and he hits me back and then Abbott hits me and the director hits me and I fall over a table or something. It makes everyone feel real swell.”

 

Untitled_zps43c6aujk.png

 

During the filming of The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, Costello returned to the set after a four-day absence due to the death of his father. To lighten the mood, Barber squirted a mouthful of water on him. “Everybody laughed,” said Barber. “We couldn’t have gotten a scene that day if I hadn’t done something.”

 

During the first day of shooting Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Barber hid in the rafters and dropped an egg on the head of director Charles Barton. He was also prone to ruining a take by running through a scene, wearing shorts, and yelling “Fellows, be quiet. I can’t sleep!”

 

You can spot Bobby in lots of places. He appears as a passenger in Monkey Business with the Marx Brothers. He is the lone customer at a roadside stand in Mighty Joe Young.

 

Look for him everywhere.

 

 

Bobby tries to impress Claudette Colbert with his physique:

barber%20and%20colbert_zpsz76qlcsc.jpg

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A counter to the 100+ club is Mary Morris, who has only one film credit, "Double Door" in 1934. She starred in the Broadway play, agreed to reprise the role for Paramount, and never did another film.

 

Norman Lloyd has only 68 film and TV acting credits in spite of his incredibly long life, I'm assuming because of the HUAC blacklists of the 1950s.

 

Lew Ayres has 155 TV and film credits.

 

Gilbert Roland who never quite made the A list has 144  TV and film acting credits.

 

Lilian Gish had 121 TV and film acting credits in spite of the fact that she made only three movies after her final silent film, "The Wind", for the next 15 years. She lived to be 100.

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[attachment=2075:3715_128175886429.jpg]Jane Darwell

 

Jane Darwell was born Patti Woodward in Missouri in 1879 into a well-to-do family.  Her original career aim was to be an opera singer but instead, decided to spend her youth working as an entertainer in circuses and in travelling stock companies. Because her family strongly objected to her chosen profession, she changed her name to Jane Darwell so as not to “sully” the famliy name.

 

Jane’s first film appearance was in 1913 and she appeared, mostly uncredited, in shorts.  After a few years in silents, she decided to return to the stage but, after a 16 year absence, she resumed her film career in 1930, appearing in “Tom Sawyer.”  Darwell quickly became a well known and well respected character actress and generally appeared as a kind-hearted matron or matriarch though she occasionally played against type in her roles in "Gone With The Wind," "The Ox-Bow Incident" and "Caged." She often worked with John Ford and appeared in 4 films which were nominated for Best Picture  -- GWTW, "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Ox-Bow Incident" and "Mary Poppins."  It was her role as Ma Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath" which won her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1940.  Jane was quoted as saying:  “I’ve played Henry Fonda’s mother so often that, whenever we run into each other, I call him “Son” and he calls me “Ma,” just to save time.  Jane Darwell's filmography lists 156 films but it is believed she actually appeared in well over 200 films since most of her early performances in silents were uncredited.

 

Beginning in 1954, Darwell often appeared on television on such shows as “Playhouse 90,“Maverick," “Shirley Temple’s Storybook,” “The Real McCoys,”“Burke’s Law” and “Wagon Train.” Though she had retired to the Motion Picture Country Home, Walt Disney prevailed upon her to appear as “The Bird Lady” in Mary Poppins.  It was her final film appearance. Jane Darwell died in 1967 at the age of 87.

 

Coming up next . . . A Salute to John Litel.

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J. Pat O'Malley (1904–1985) had 235 film and TV acting credits over forty years starting in 1943 in "Lassie Come Home". However, he primarily did small parts in television rather than film.

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[attachment=2076:Unknown.jpeg]John Litel

 

I've got to say it  -  I love this guy!  When I see his name come up in the credits, it just makes me smile.

 

John Litel was born in Wisconsin in 1892. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the French Army, not wanting to wait until America joined the war.  He was decorated twice for bravery, so, John Litel didn't just play heroes, he really was one.

 

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and upon his return from service in WWI he enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He toured with stock companies and played opposite such actresses as Ann Harding and future Warner Brother's co-star, Joan Blondell.  Though his first film appearance was in "The Sleeping Porch" in 1929, he continued to work primarily on stage for the next few years, receiving many critical accolades, particularly for his performance as Dizzy Davis in the 1932 stage play, "Ceiling Zero."

 

Once John Litel became part of what was informally known as "The Warner Brothers Stock Company" in the mid 1930's, he never stopped working.  Sometimes the lead, but more often than not, playing in support, he was cast as authority figures such as police officers, business executives and attorneys.  Litel appeared in over 154 films including:  "Black Legion," "The Life of Emile Zola," "They Died With Their Boots On," "Comet Over Broadway," "Castle On The Hudson," "Crime Doctor" (where he played against type as the film's villain) and in the Nancy Drew and Henry Aldrich film series.  As television came along, John Litel continued to be an in-demand actor in such series as:  "Zorro," "Have Gun Will Travel," "Bonanza" and "77 Sunset Strip." Litel worked up until nearly the end of his life, dying in 1972 at the age of 79.

 

Coming up next:  Clara Blandick

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attachicon.gifUnknown.jpegJohn Litel

 

I've got to say it  -  I love this guy!  When I see his name come up in the credits, it just makes me smile.

 

John Litel was born in Wisconsin in 1892. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the French Army, not wanting to wait until America joined the war.  He was decorated twice for bravery, so, John Litel didn't just play heroes, he really was one.

 

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and upon his return from service in WWI he enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He toured with with stock companies and played opposite such actresses as Ann Harding and future Warner Brother's co-star, Joan Blondell.  Though his first film appearance was in "The Sleeping Porch" in 1929, he continued to work primarily on stage for the next few years, receiving many critical accolades, particularly for his performance as Dizzy Davis in the 1932 stage stage play, "Ceiling Zero."

 

Once John Litel became part of what was informally known as "The Warner Brothers Stock Company" in the mid 1930's, he never stopped working.  Sometimes the lead, but more often than not, playing in support, he was cast as authority figures such as police officers, business executives and attorneys.  Litel appeared in over 154 films including"  "Black Legion," "The Life of Emile Zola," "They Died With Their Boots On, "Comet Over Broadway," "Castle On The Hudson," "Crime Doctor" (where he played against type as the film's villain) and in the Nancy Drew and Henry Aldrich film series.  As television came along, John Litel continued to be an in-demand actor in such series as:  "Zorro," "Have Gun Will Travel," "Bonanza" and "77 Sunset Strip." Litel worked up until nearly the end of his life, dying in 1972 at the age of 77.

 

Coming up next:  Clara Blandick

 

Yes,  John Litel made an impact in the many fine films he was featured in.    One WB picture that is an unsung hero (well because it is a Davis picture that isn't often mentioned as much as her other films are),  is Marked Women.    Here Litel plays a lawyer for a mobster.     He plays the role with just the right amount of detachment;  Yea he is working for the mob but he isn't one of them. 

 

Always a treat to see John in a role regardless of the size of said role.    The type of supporting player that made the golden era what it is.

 

PS:  keep up the fine work.  LOVE this thread!

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JOHN LITEL was 79, not 77, when he died in Feb. 1972.     

 

     Actor WILL WRIGHT (1894-1962) had well over 100 credits; his last appearance in a theatrical film was the recently-aired '62 release "Cape Fear". 

 

     ANGIE DICKINSON (1931-      ) has well over one hundred credits; the IMDb has her slated with 146.  She stayed busy for a long time.  I very much enjoyed watching "Point Blank" last night, I might add.     

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JOHN LITEL was 79, not 77, when he died in Feb. 1972.     

 

     Actor WILL WRIGHT (1894-1962) had well over 100 credits; his last appearance in a theatrical film was the recently-aired '62 release "Cape Fear". 

 

     ANGIE DICKINSON (1931-      ) has well over one hundred credits; the IMDb has her slated with 146.  She stayed busy for a long time.  I very much enjoyed watching "Point Blank" last night, I might add.     

imdb credits generally include TV credits. That is probably true for Angie.

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imdb credits generally include TV credits. That is probably true for Angie.

 

Yes, that's true.  The 100+ Club means 100 or more feature FILMS.  TV credits don't count.

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[attachment=2081:591bc65327464eae475fc279ff86a8f7.jpg]Clara Blandick

 
Clara Blandick’s life began and ended in dramatic fashion but in the intervening years she was a much sought after character actress who made every one of the 108 films she appeared in so much richer.
 
The year of Clara Blandick’s birth varies, as 1876, 1880 or 1881, depending upon the source material.  She was born on an American ship, harbored in Hong Kong, which was captained by her father, Issac Dickey.  She was delivered by a Captain Blanchard whose ship was anchored nearby and, to thank and honor him, her parents named her Clara Blanchard Dickey.  When it came time to devise a stage name, Clara chose the first syllables of her middle and last names to become Clara Blandick.
 
Clara was raised in Massachusetts but moved to New York to pursue an acting career in 1900. She received acclaim for one of her early stage appearances in “The Christian" with critics noting that she was "a dainty, petite and graceful heroine.”  She soon advanced to a number of lead roles in Broadway productions such as “Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman” and "Madame Butterfly.”
 
Though she made her first film in 1914, like many other actors of the time, she returned to her first love, the theatre, where she remained until moving to Hollywood in 1929.  She was a busy actress, right from the start, making 9 films in 1930 and 13 films in 1931.  Her characters varied from mothers to socialites to even murderers, appearing in such films as:  "Three On A Match,” “Life Begins,” “The Bitter Tea of General Yen,” “Anthony Adverse,” “DuBarry Was A Lady,” and, of course, “The Wizard of Oz.” Blandick was not the first choice for the role (May Robson was) and completed all of her scenes in a single week.  Though the role was not large, “Auntie Em” is considered a key figure in the film since the heroine Dorothy constantly reiterates her desire to go home to “Auntie Em.”
 
Blandick performed constantly through the 1930’s and 1940’s working at all of the studios though she eventually signed a contract at 20th Century Fox.  In the 1950’s, however, she worked in only 2 films, "Key To The City” and “Love That Brute.”  “Love That Brute” (1950) was her final film appearance and, in 1951, she retired.  Failing health became an on-going problem for Clara Blandick  —  she was going blind and suffered greatly from arthritis.  In April, 1962, after going to church on Palm Sunday, Clara Blandick methodically laid out her resume, some of her movie memorabilia, favorite photos and her collection of press clippings and then committed suicide leaving a note which said:  “I am now about to make the great adventure.”
 
Next up:  Addison Richards

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